Here is a threading together of loss, a muscular love story, son to mother, back-to-front and told from a world twisted out of shape, a broken place that reflects so many, and yet mirrors none. The Kashmir that Rafiq Kathwari spins together, held by poetic legacy so as to stop the essence of Kashmir from slipping through, is not a place but a prayer. ‘Pay attention’ each stanza, free verse and piece of prose calls out. ‘What is madness? What is sanity?’ they shout. Each line of My Mother’s Scribe draws on poetry’s miraculous capacity to reveal what the head finds so hard to hear from the heart.
– Justine Hardy
Justine Hardy, British author based in India who reported for Financial Times, is the founder of Healing Minds Foundation (formerly Healing Kashmir), a therapeutic and holistic mental health organization that since 2005 has been supporting and treating Kashmiris mentally scarred by the conflict and violence. Her most recent book is In the Valley of Mist (Simon & Schuster 2009).